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Does Writing Have a Future?$
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Vilém Flusser

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780816670222

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816670222.001.0001

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(p.119) Stationeries
Does Writing Have a Future?

Vilém Flusser

Mark Poster

Nancy Ann Roth

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter focuses on stationery shops that sell writing materials and suggests that, after the decline of writing, they will also disappear from our environment in the face of the informatic revolution. One might argue that stationery shops should not be singled out from all the others, that all shops are condemned to disappear with the decline of writing. But stationery shops are different. They will become superfluous as shops, but so will the things they have for sale, particularly the writing paper. The informatic revolution is not only a political one—we are losing the city—but also a cultural revolution that is causing the culture of writing to disappear. The loss of a culture of writing can be observed in office stationeries. In addition to typewriters and even older writing tools, they carry more and more word processors, which are evidently geared toward replacement by higher-function artificial intelligences that no longer use any paper. The design of stationery stores buries, rather than praise, paper.

Keywords:   stationery shops, writing materials, writing, informatic revolution, writing paper, office stationeries, typewriters, word processors, artificial intelligence

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